Spirits are beings forged by the Elements, namely from a respective Elemental Plane. They exist within the mortal coils of death, as do many other denizens. Greater Spirits are immortal beings who were born from a Greater Spirit or from the elements themselves. Most of them can be found in an Elemental Plane or inhabiting some elemental formation on the Material Plane. Lesser Spirits are a mortal race descended from the Greater Spirits through diluted bloodlines. They are entirely mortal and have the greatest degree of separation from the Elements of the Elemental Beings.
Separation from the Elements
There are many degrees of separation between the Four Elements and mortal beings. While one can have attunement and channel the forces that are the Elements, they are not beings bore of the Elements. Spirits themselves are closer to the elements than other beings but are not truly "forces of nature" as some believe. Spirits, instead, are "mortal" beings forged into an element of sorts.
|Degree of Separation||1||2||3||4||5|
|Fire||Fire Elemental||Fire Mephit||Fire Golem||Greater Ifrit||Lesser Ifrit|
|Water||Water Elemental||Water Mephit||Water Golem||Greater Naiad||Lesser Naiad|
|Earth||Earth Elemental||Earth Mephit||Earth Golem||Greater Nymph||Lesser Nymph|
|Air||Air Elemental||Air Mephit||Air Golem||Greater Venti||Lesser Venti|
The story as it was told was a machination of the first four. Their true origins, as stated by Avani herself, were that of their inception during the creation of the Four Elements. They are the Four Elements. Spirits, as it is known, were bore from them by their will. The following became known as The Great Farce.
The Great Farce
According to the old legends, the ascended were four of the most powerful demons of their age, Cinaed, Nanami, Avani and Zeru. For whatever reason, unlike their infernal brethren they did not revel in the harsh and unforgiving land of hell, and they decided together to escape.
The four knew that they could reach the mortal plane, but feared that they would be dragged back down by the other demons, who would not take kindly to their departure. It was for that reason that they formed a plan to scatter to the four directions, leaving eachother in hopes that the demons would not be able to pursue them all at once. With this plan, they ascended out of the inferno and made haste as far from their exit point as possible.
Firm Avani fled to the North and took refuge in the woods, communing and hiding among the trees and creatures of the forest. Swift Zeru ran to the east, climbing the mighty mountains which lay in his path, moving as swiftly as the birds that called the mountains home. Cinaed, ever prideful, traveled south to the desert, welcoming the heat as only a demon could and making his home in the desert, a bold statement that he did not need to hide from the lesser demons. Clever Nanami made her way westwards, slipping into the ocean in hopes that demons would not think to search for a creature of fire hidden in the water.
The ascended knew not how the others fared, and did not have time to worry about their fellow escapees, as they were soon followed to the earthly plane by the many forces of hell. Many demons saw the task of dragging the Ascended back down to hell as a test of strength, and believed that doing so would bring them great power.
They came first for Avani, burning the woods and murdering the creatures which called the forest home. Avani saw this and felt remorse, for the forest had become a home to her, and she felt compelled to defend it. Avani went to the center of the forest and meditated, hoping that with all the energies of the forest surrounding her she could find the strength to repel the invading force. Suddenly, she found herself aware of the life of the forest, and realized that she could feel the life of every creature that surrounded her, from the ancient trees to the short-lived chipmunks, and she immersed with the great force that she could now sense, taking the power of the forest’s essence and in effect becoming it. The demon’s horns turned as brown as the trees from which she drew her energies, and her tail vanished. Firm Avani, no longer a demon but rather a nymph, went to face her pursuers, and in her rage drew vines from the earth to crush her enemies and commanded the animals of the woods to fight by her side, and so she drove out the demons from her forest.
The demons, their rage increased, left the north and traveled instead to the east, clawing their way up the mountain and fouling the sky up with the smoke from their fires. Zeru saw this, and traveled to the highest point of the highest mountain. There he stayed, his only weapon a bow and a dwindling number of arrows. From on high, he observed the foul smokes and the stocky creatures trying to force their way into the sky’s domain, and felt the winds around him, and as he loosed his last arrow he suddenly and impulsively leaped into the sky, letting the wind take him, and the wind did take him, and reformed him into a winged creature of the sky, a venti. Swift Zeru felt power, as if the sky itself had granted him dominion over the winds to do with as he pleased. Now more confident than ever, Zeru went to face the demons. The demons saw their changed adversary and fired many arrows, but the spirit dodged them, swift as the wind, and gathered raging gales that tore the demons from the mountain and sent them back to earth. The demons had to give up, for Zeru’s new powers made climbing the mountains an impossibility.
At this point, hundreds of demons had died, but the fury of hell was a mighty force indeed, and so yet more demons went south, to where the prideful Cinaed was waiting for them. He offered to take on all the demons at once, claiming that his rage could match the might of any. He stood in the hottest part of the desert, where the sun itself could play audience to his fighting. The demons came, and Cinaed fought for days, matching the might of any who came to challenge him. This continued for over a week before Cinaed found his strength failing him. Enraged, he screamed upwards, throwing his rage to the sun itself and basking in the rage of battle. He found himself filled with a fire unlike any which had existed before. The spirit Cinaed was refreshed, and now took on even more demons at once, calling forth flames to engulf his enemies when his strength failed him, and eventually the demons had to retreat once more, lest all who had come to the surface be lost entirely. Cinaed raged at them as they fled, calling them cowards and boasting of his own strength, the strength of an Ifrit.
The rage of the demons was quickly turning to desparation, for all who had fled had thus far eluded them. They turned their attention westwards to the sea, where Nanami had taken refuge. Using their wits rather than strength, the demons poured poison into the sea, hoping to flush Nanami out before the sea could grant her power. Nanami saw this and realized that she could neither best the demons nor survive their poison, and so she dove to the deepest part of the sea, planning on denying the demons the trophy of her corpse to bring back to Hades. Unable to speak or breathe, the demon instead focused on the power of the tides which she had called home for some time, felt the strength of the ocean surrounding her, and, at peace, took a deep breath. It was much to her surprise that the naiad Nanami found herself able to breathe underwater as she had gained fins and gills. Nanami felt the power of the tides coursing through her. Pleased with her new gift, she ascended from the depths of the ocean and sent forth great waves, casting out the poison which had filled the ocean and dashing the demons against the shores.
After this final loss, the demons remaining fled to Underworld, and there were no demons left on the surface. Those who remained were instead spirits, the first and most powerful of their kind. It is said that these four still exist, powerful as ever, and that all spirits are descended from these four. The children of Avani, the nymphs, can be known by their brown horns and the leaves which the more powerful of their kind have growing as a part of them. Those who claim Zeru’s parentage, the venti, have the wings of sky creatures and are most comfortable in places near the sky. Cinaed’s kin, the ifrit, have the horns of demons, and those who are the most powerful are said to have an internal flame so hot is can be seen through cracks in their otherwise hard skin. Those that descended from Nanami, the naiads, are most at home in the sea, as they possess fins and gills much like the fish that they live among.
There does not tend to be an overarching culture of Spirits by any means. Though most have similar traits, such as Ifrits being hot-blooding and Nymphs being very protective of forests. Venti are fleeting and free willed while Naiads are vindictive but everchanging. Spirits are a rarity in the world of Orelisle, there are no large settlements of Spirits anywhere and most Spirits tend to separately from other Spirits. Most Spirits view themselves as servants of nature and do its bidding and protect it as they see fit. Most Greater Spirits spend their time tending to their elements on Orelisle and doing what they can to expand it or keep balance. Lesser Spirits are a different story.
[OUT OF GAME: PLAYERS CAN ONLY PLAY AS A LESSER SPIRIT] Lesser Spirits are similar to Lesser Demons in terms of their birth. Most cases have that somewhere deep in their bloodline, a Greater Spirit bred with their family and at their, the Lesser Spirit's, birth the traits of their Spiritual Heritage sprung forth and dominated over their biological traits. Lesser Spirits are usually born in this manner. Very, very few are directly related to a Greater Spirit and none are "created" as to be a Lesser requires the intermingling of mortal blood. Lesser Spirits tend to look similar to one another of their own denomination and those look as though less severe versions of their Greater Spirit ancestors. Culturally, Lesser Spirits do not have a unifying culture and tend to adapt the culture of the race they were born into.